THE STATE ELECTRONIC GOLD CURRENCY PLAN Part 2

November 17, 2009

by Dr. Edwin Vieira, Jr., Ph.D., J.D.

PART ONE of this commentary explained why reform of America’s monetary and banking systems requires introduction of a private electronic gold currency as a parallel medium of exchange in competition with Federal Reserve Notes and the Treasury’s base-metallic coinage. Why a State would provide the best vehicle for introducing such a new monetary unit is not too difficult to understand, either.

First, the States are geographically, operationally, and jurisprudentially permanent–they will neither move away nor go out of business in the foreseeable future, and constitute key elements in the Constitution’s federal system, which guarantees their existence and legal powers. See Article IV, Section 4, and Amendment X.

Second, the perennial processes of taxation and spending set up steady flows of purchasing power from society into each State’s coffers, and from her treasury back into the private economy.

Third, very large numbers of, if not most, individuals and businesses in each State are taxpayers or recipients of governmental payments, or both, or regularly conduct economic transactions with people or enterprises who or which are.

Fourth, the amounts of purchasing power any State takes in and pays out these days are significant in terms of the total monetary activity within her territory.

Fifth, when a State employs a new electronic gold currency, she will reduce for everyone else the costs of substituting that currency for Federal Reserve Notes and base-metallic coins. For instance: “Education costs” will be minimized because the State will inform everyone within her jurisdiction of how to employ such a currency in the payment of taxes and the receipt of public expenditures. “Opportunity costs” will decrease because transactions such as the payment of taxes and the performance of public contracts, which unavoidably involve the State, will have to be consummated in the new currency–and therefore people who must pay taxes in gold will seek to obtain income for that purpose in that currency; and people who perform public contracts will seek to pay their employees and suppliers in the currency they receive from the State. “Search costs” will drop because everyone will know that hundreds of thousands of citizens are already using the new gold monetary units in their dealings with the State, and therefore can just as easily employ them in private transactions. And “transaction costs” will plummet because all those citizens will have personal accounts with the State’s electronic gold currency provider, with which all other citizens can easily open their own accounts in order to enter into private contracts payable in that currency.

Sixth, a State is responsible for the welfare of her citizens. In America’ federal system, each State retains both the primary and the ultimate political responsibility for her own people’s health, safety, and welfare. That responsibility resides in her legislature–and cannot be delegated, let alone surrendered, to anyone else. Least of all can it be evaded.

Seventh, America’s federal system empowers and encourages State legislatures, within broad limits, to experiment with laws in the effort to achieve socially desirable results. See Whalen v. Roe, 429 U.S. 589, 597-98 & n.22 (1977); Johnson v. Louisiana, 406 U.S. 356, 376 (1972) (opinion of Powell, J.); California v. Green, 399 U.S. 149, 184-85 (1970) (Harlan, J., concurring); Fay v. New York, 332 U.S. 261, 296 (1947).

Eighth, even a single State can (and will) be an exemplar and model for, and a challenge to, others. Any State’s adoption of an electronic gold currency will be too visible to remain unnoticed, even by the Establishment’s media. For each State exercises so much economic power within her own jurisdiction that her employment of a new currency will significantly affect not only the very large numbers of individuals and enterprises that deal directly with the State, but also the even larger numbers that in turn deal with them, both in that State and elsewhere. Moreover, the beneficial economic effects of one State’s adoption of an electronic gold currency cannot fail to have positive political consequences in other States. And no State can lose credibility from acting on principle, especially where application of her principles pays off.

Ninth, unlike the General Government, some States are political entities their patriotic citizens can actually hope to control–by educating, organizing, and mobilizing voters and key legislative leaders.

And tenth, if patriots take charge of their State’s monetary policy, then the General Government and the Federal Reserve System become irrelevant, because under America’s federal system each State enjoys the reserved sovereign power to employ whatever currency she desires in the performance of her essential governmental functions. See Lane County v. Oregon, 74 U.S. (7 Wall.) 71 (1869); Hagar v. Reclamation District No. 108, 111 U.S. 701 (1884).

To implement these principles, I have drafted a proposed statute for the State of New Hampshire–full details as to which are to be found at http://www.goldmoneybill.org –that can serve as a prototype for legislation in States throughout the country. (Of course, because this bill was designed to fit New Hampshire’s particular situation, it would need to be appropriately modified for use elsewhere.)

Unlike so many contemporary proposals for monetary and banking reform, this bill is perfectly constitutional. Article I, Section 8, Clause 5 of the Constitution delegates to Congress the power “[t]o coin Money”. And Congress has mandated the coinage of silver and gold,[1] and declared its coinage to be legal tender.[2] In addition, Article I, Section 10, Clause 1 provides that “[n]o State shall make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts”. The New Hampshire bill enables and empowers that State’s citizens to employ Congress’s specie coinage (along with any other “gold and silver Coin”) for that required constitutional purpose, according to their own free choices, through the intermediation of an ultra-modern electronic gold currency unit fully convertible into specie coins or bullion.

Congress has also licensed the Federal Reserve System to emit Federal Reserve Notes irredeemable in silver or gold,[3] has authorized the minting of base-metallic coins,[4] and has declared those notes and coins to be legal tender.[5] These actions are plainly unconstitutional. Even were they valid, though, as a matter of constitutional law New Hampshire need not employ those notes and coins as her media of exchange, to any degree. For the Supreme Court has squarely held that Congress lacks any constitutional power to specify what the States must use as legal tender or media of exchange in the exercise of their essential governmental functions.[6] The New Hampshire bill deals with the most important of these functions: namely,

*taxation;
*borrowing by the State;
*payment of State legislators, officials, employees, contractors, suppliers, and so on;
*payment for takings of private property through the State’s power of eminent domain; and
*satisfaction of judgments, fines, penalties, and other monetary awards in the State’s courts of justice.

Therefore, in empowering and enabling New Hampshire’s citizens to choose gold and silver as their media of exchange, even to the exclusion of Federal Reserve Notes and base-metallic coinage, this bill implements the rule of law the Supreme Court has approved–and thereby in its operation enjoys complete immunity from interference by the General Government and the Federal Reserve System.

Interestingly, in this bill for the first time a State will fulfill the General Government’s monetary policy. Today, all United States coins and currencies, whenever minted or issued, are declared to be equally “legal tender”.[7] The law makes no preferences among them.[8] Anyone may choose one form of legal tender (or even some currency not designated a legal tender) as his medium of exchange, to the exclusion of any or all other currencies.[9] And the courts must honor and enforce such choices.[10] So the New Hampshire bill aids that State’s citizens in doing what the General Government recognizes as everyone’s statutory rights.

Moreover, those who imagine that silver and gold are somehow “out of date” as money forget that even Congress has mandated that silver and gold be coined in amounts sufficient to meet public demand, and that coins of these metals be legal tender.[11] These coins are now available in the marketplace. The New Hampshire bill aims at making them easily usable by every individual and enterprise in all financial transactions involving the State.

Other than certain taxpayers and persons fined in the courts of law (who are required to pay their public dues solely in gold in order to guarantee the State a small but steady input of specie, come what may), the New Hampshire bill does not require anyone to use electronic gold currency in financial transactions involving the State. Rather, it leaves the choice to each individual and enterprise—because the question of which forms of currency best serve the people’s needs should be decided through open and fair competition in the free market, with government adopting the people’s choice. People who find electronic gold currency (and the gold and silver coins and bullion into which it is convertible) most useful, will choose those as their media of exchange. People who find Federal Reserve Notes and base-metallic coins most useful will choose them. Thus, New Hampshire will operate a system of parallel, competitive media of exchange, to the degree her own citizens–not political and financial elitists in Washington, D.C., and New York City–desire it. One can anticipate, however, that, given freedom of monetary choice and empowered to exercise it efficiently, the people of New Hampshire (and of every other State) will seek to enhance their own economic security and political liberty by increasingly choosing gold and silver over rag currency and slugs, until (through gradual expansion of the law) the State’s financial transactions–and then her entire private economy–employ electronic gold currency to the virtual exclusion of any other.

The route to monetary reform proposed in the New Hampshire bill offers an outcome in which no one can lose–other than those intent on exploiting the American people politically and economically through fiat currency, central banking, and the endless monetization of public debt. If the proponents of electronic gold currency prove prophetic, and the present monetary and banking systems continue to deteriorate, or even collapse entirely, the New Hampshire model will offer a method for rapid, salvific change throughout the country. If those proponents prove overly pessimistic, and the monetary and banking systems continue to muddle through, the New Hampshire model will at least provide inexpensive insurance and peace of mind for the people who put it to work. (No one can reasonably fault insurance because the tragedy it covers fails to occur.)

The New Hampshire electronic gold currency plan proves that Americans do not have to depend upon the likes of Chairman Greenspan, or the denizens of Congress and the Department of the Treasury, to bring about real monetary reform in the foreseeable future. Americans can do that for themselves and by themselves–if they want to.

Part 1,Footnotes:

1 See Title 31, United States Code, §§ 5112(a)(1-7) (gold) and 5112(e) (silver).
2 See Title 31, United States Code, §§ 5103 and 5112(h).
3 See Title 12, United States Code, § 411 and Title 31, United States Code, § 5118(b) and (c).
4 See Title 31, United States Code, § 5112(a)(1-6).
5 See Title 31, United States Code, §§ 5103 and 5112(h).
6 See Lane County v. Oregon, 74 U.S. (7 Wall.) 71 (1869); Hagar v. Reclamation District No. 108, 111 U.S. 701 (1884).
7 See Title 31, United States Code, §§ 5103 and 5112(h).
8 See Thompson v. Butler, 95 U.S. 695 (1878).
9 See Title 31, United States Code, § 5118(d)(2).
10 See Bronson v. Rodes, 74 U.S. (7 Wall.) 229 (1869); Butler v. Horwitz, 74 U.S. (7 Wall.) 258 (1869).
11 See Title 31, United States Code, §§ 5112(e) (minting of silver coins) and 5112(i)(1) (minting of gold coins); §§ 5103 and 5112(h) (all coins to be legal tender).

© 2005 Edwin Vieira, Jr. – All Rights Reserved

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THE STATE ELECTRONIC GOLD CURRENCY PLAN Part 1

November 16, 2009

by Dr. Edwin Vieira, Jr., Ph.D., J.D.

Two of my earlier commentaries–DON’T COUNT ON WASHINGTON TO PROTECT US FROM A LOOMING BANKING CRISIS and CAN AMERICANS SOLVE THEIR MONETARY AND BANKING PROBLEMS FOR THEMSELVES?–have explored why this country cannot expect either the General Government or Americans as isolated individuals to solve the monetary and banking problems the Establishment has caused. Rather, America needs to find a workable mechanism that can

*return a significant part of this country to sound money and honest banking whether or not a monetary crisis ever occurs, before a crisis breaks out, and surely in case a crisis flares up;
*educate Americans–economically, politically, and in particular constitutionally–about the use of gold and silver as media of exchange;
*encourage, empower, and enable Americans to use gold, silver, or both as their preferred media of exchange;
*provide a nonpolitical–that is, private, free-market–medium of exchange actually consisting of (not just “backed” by) gold, silver, or both, but that government at every level can use for all public purposes, too;
*create open competition in both private commerce and public finance between gold and silver commodity moneys, on the one side, and fiat Federal Reserve Notes and base-metallic coinage, on the other; and
*offer an alternative to fractional-reserve banking.

For genuine and lasting monetary and banking reform to occur:

(1) This mechanism must be capable of operating and expanding in anticipation of, in response to, and during any regional, national, or international monetary and banking crisis, in order to solve or moderate, if not prevent or mitigate the worst effects of, the crisis in at least the location where the mechanism is already functioning. This capability is necessary to obviate any supposed need for “emergency” legislation or other draconian devices in that locale, so that the mechanism can prove itself there and thus serve as a model for the protection or rehabilitation of the remainder of the country.

(2) This mechanism needs to be put into operation well before a crisis breaks out–indeed, the sooner the better. Which means that it must be capable, both economically and politically, of being implemented in some significant place in the foreseeable future.

(3) Although this mechanism must be capable of beginning to function immediately upon adoption, it should be introduced, not on a “crash” basis, but as a measured, gradual reform that can be carefully thought through, publicized, put into place, tested, and perfected while everyone is still thinking clearly and acting calmly. It must be a mechanism that everyone will come to know is available, that many people will actually use even in the absence of any crisis, and that through such use will come to be widely understood and trusted.

(4) This mechanism must be economically viable from its very onset. If an even theoretically sound plan for monetary and banking reform proves too complex, cumbersome, or costly to implement in its initial stages, what will be necessary to avert or address a crisis will not be accomplished in time.

(5) This mechanism must be capable of interacting efficiently at all times with the present monetary and banking systems, yet nevertheless operate outside and independent of, and (most importantly of all) not suffer from any of the major problems that beset, those systems. Thus, it must be based on private, parallel, and competitive currency that consists of actual gold or silver, not mere claims thereto–let alone a new fiat currency. The depositary institutions that provide this new specie currency must operate on the principle of “bailment”–whereby the depositaries hold their customers’ gold or silver not as the depositaries’ property, to which the depositors have only a claim for the payment of a debt, but as the depositors’ property, in which the depositaries can assert no proprietary interest whatsoever. Consequently, the depositaries cannot engage in the pernicious practice of “fractional reserves”, or claim the special privilege to “suspend specie payments” (i.e., to assert immunity from their own contractual obligations to their depositors, while nonetheless remaining in business themselves).

(6) This mechanism must be targeted, systematic, and institutionalized, rather than dependent upon the uncoordinated efforts of isolated individuals most of whom will be unaware of, and unable to cooperate with, each others’ activities. It must operate both extensively and comprehensively—that is, it must immediately involve a large number of people within a specific geographical area carefully chosen on the basis of its economic and political significance, then extend fully throughout that area, then expand into other areas, and at length embrace the vast majority of citizens throughout the United States. In monetary and banking reform, “small is not necessarily beautiful” and is certainly not likely to be effective, because: (i) no tiny social enclave, no matter how apparently isolated and self-sufficient, will prove completely immune from the adverse effects of a nationwide or worldwide monetary and banking collapse; (ii) no such enclave’s partial success in protecting itself is likely to have significant positive spill-over effects elsewhere; and (iii) no such success in some isolated enclave can provide a convincing test of the method’s usefulness in larger areas with more complex economies. (Although, of course, if such is the best that can be done, then the inhabitants of every out-of-the-way enclave should do it, and let the rest of the country stew in its own juices.)

(7) For these reasons, this mechanism must be introduced in a locale that, in terms of geographical area, population, and level of economic activity, is relatively large and complex, rather than small and simple. Also, it must initially operate through a major participant in the market–that is, one with which large numbers of people financially interact, directly or indirectly, on a regular and permanent basis, and which continually takes in and pays out significant amounts of purchasing power in whatever currencies it employs.

(8) This mechanism will need a large degree of legal immunity from interference by the General Government (especially the Department of the Treasury) and the Federal Reserve System, which will undoubtedly claim “supremacy”, “exclusive jurisdiction”, and powers of “preemption” as to any new currency. For the very creation, let alone the operation and success, of any mechanism for monetary and banking reform will inevitably subject it to retaliation from the Establishment, fanatically opposed as it is to remonetization of gold and silver.

(9) Finally, operation of this mechanism must not be likely to trigger a depression, hyperinflation, or other monetary and banking crisis when it starts the open competition between gold and silver, on the one side, and fiat currency, on the other. After all, the purpose of reform is not to bring down the Federal Reserve System, come Hell or high water, but to replace it with sound money and honest banking in as timely, orderly, and inexpensive a manner as possible. Prudence must be the watchword.

The foregoing criteria for a successful reform compel the following conclusions:

I. The new medium of exchange should be a private electronic specie currency unit, itself of gold or silver, and fully convertible into standard gold or silver coins or bars. At the present time, the best choice available in the free market is the “goldgram”, provided by James Turk’s GoldMoney (at http://www.goldmoney.com).

The “goldgram” is a fixed weight of actual gold, but divisible electronically into very small amounts (0.001 part of a “goldgram”, or a “mil”), so that transactions of almost any size can be easily and expeditiously carried out.

The “goldgram” is transferrable anywhere over the Internet, making it a truly global currency. But, being entirely private in origin and operation, it is immune from the systematic political manipulations that commonly affect currencies emitted by governmental treasuries or central banks.

Because it is a completely private currency, the “goldgram” is protected by better safeguards than either the Treasury’s coins or the Federal Reserve System’s notes can claim. First, the “goldgram” is a fixed unit of weight of pure gold, with no arbitrary “dollar” denomination. This is quite distinguishable from the Treasury’s gold, silver, and base-metallic coins that are all denominated in numbers of “dollars” which are not only largely fanciful in constitutional terms, but also exhibit no rational relationship among themselves in the economic terms of their various purchasing powers in the free market.

Second, a holder of “goldgrams” owns a fixed amount of gold, itself a valuable commodity; whereas the holder of Federal Reserve Notes owns nothing but the Notes themselves, at best a political debt. True, a holder of Federal Reserve Notes has a legal right to their redemption “in lawful money”. Title 12, United States Code, Section 411. But no statute mandates the redemption of Federal Reserve Notes “in lawful money” containing any permanently fixed amount of any specific commodity. At best, a holder of those notes is entitled only to their face value in United States base-metallic coins, which can contain whatever slivers of junkyard scrap Congress and the Treasury decide to stamp as “money” from time to time–and which specifically at this time cannot include either gold or silver. See Title 31, United States Code, Section 5118(b) and (c).

Third, because each “goldgram” is the depositor’s own private property–not a debt owed to him by GoldMoney–the electronic gold currency system avoids all the problems of Ponzification inherent in fractional-reserve banks.

Yet, although they are held and transferred outside the established banking system, “goldgrams” are freely exchangeable with Federal Reserve Notes and base-metallic coinage, and vice versa. This provides users of “goldgrams” with outstanding protection, flexibility, convenience, and efficiency for all their monetary transactions. “Goldgrams” can function as a truly parallel currency, because any contract can be made, and paid, in “goldgrams” or fiat currency, as suits the parties’ needs.

The widespread introduction and use of “goldgrams” in America’s economy can cause neither a depression nor an hyperinflation, either. A depression will not occur, because extensive use of “goldgrams” will actually increase the supply of true, commodity money by remonetizing gold (and silver, too, when an equivalent system for “digitizing” that metal appears). So, even to the extent that “goldgrams” may displace Federal Reserve Notes and base-metallic currency from use, the economy will suffer no destabilization. A more sound currency will simply supplant a less sound currency, by operation of the free market. No hyperinflation will occur, either, because the supply of monetary gold is incapable of huge, arbitrary, and especially politically driven increases. Rather, it is fixed by physical availability, and the free market’s control over its production. Conceivably, Federal Reserve Notes and base-metallic currencies may depreciate against gold; but, as they do, gold will appreciate against them.

Of great importance, too, is that “goldgrams” are freely convertible into standard gold and silver coins and bullion as part of GoldMoney’s normal operations. This qualifies “goldgrams” for use in all public functions by States and localities that must satisfy the requirement of Article I, Section 10, Clause 1 of the Constitution that “[n]o State shall make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts”. In selecting “goldgrams” as her medium of exchange, a State is not “coin[ing] Money” (which that Clause prohibits her from doing), merely employing a private gold currency over which she has no control. Neither is the State “emit[ting] Bills of Credit” (which that Clause also prohibits her from doing), because “goldgrams” are not anyone’s “Bills of Credit” that only promise to pay, but actual gold that is the very stuff of payment. And when the State offers “goldgrams” “in Payment of [her] Debts”, she “Tender[s]” such “gold and silver Coin” as her creditors may desire to receive by automatic conversion of their “goldgrams” into coinage–so that the creditors, not the State, fix what shall be the form of the gold (or silver) that functions as the final “Tender” for the transactions.

II. The last point is crucial, because the major participant in the market through which monetary and banking reform initially must operate most likely will be a State. Indeed, reliance on a State is probably the indispensable key to reform, as PART TWO of this commentary will disclose.

© 2005 Edwin Vieira, Jr. – All Rights Reserved


State Secession: Trying To Beat the World’s Worst Record

November 14, 2009

If you can’t think of reasons that state secession is a better solution for liberty than working within “the system,” consider the record of the Federal Government of the United States.

Sure, you can ultimately lay the blame on all of us, since we are the ones who allow the atrocities of Washington to continue. But for now, let’s look at Washington’s record of achievement over the last 150 years.

War of Northern Aggression – 1860s. The North wages war on a confederation of seceding states who left lawfully. Over 600,000 men died on both sides.

Reconstruction: 1860s-1870s. The North plunders the South.

Fractional reserve banking: counterfeiting by another name. Born in the 1800s, perfected by the Federal Reserve and central banking system of the USA.

Spanish-American War – 1898. “Remember the Maine?” A complete lie told by newspaperman WR Hearst, bought by the public and Washington to go to war.

Federal Reserve: established in 1913. For 96 years, it has mismanaged the economy and counterfeited currency.

IRS and the Income Tax (16th Amendment): 1913. What starts out as a small tax becomes a leviathan. What starts out as a small division of the Treasury becomes the most feared weapon of Washington.

World War 1: 1914 -1918. 117,000 dead Americans, 205,000 wounded. The US had no business in a European family war but President Wilson had other ideas.

Depression I: 1929 – 1940s. The Federal Reserve caused it.

New Deal: 1933-1936 FDR’s massive government jobs program, plundering the wealth of the USA. Fascism by another name.

World War II: 1941-1945. Another European war, we had no dog in this fight. FDR baited the Japs into attacking Pearl Harbor, giving him political cover.

Cold War: The US and the USSR escalate preparations for war to new heights, spending hundreds of billions of dollars on weapons.

Korean War: 1950 -1953. 36,000 Americans dead, 96,000 wounded.

Viet Nam: 1950-1975. 58,000 dead Americans, 303,000 wounded.

Creation of three letter agencies: HEW, HHS, CIA, FDA, FCC, DOA, DOD, EPA, and the list goes on…

New Cabinet bureaucracies: Energy, Education, Homeland Security, etc.

Grenada invasion, 1983. 19 Americans dead, 116 wounded.

Panamanian invasion 1989: 23 Americans dead, maybe 3,000 civilians killed.

Bosnian War: 1992-1995. US sends troops under UN flag, millions of civilians made refugees.

Gulf war 1999: President George HW Bush commits a massive force to Kuwait. 379 Americans die, 776 wounded in a 100-hour war.

Iraq: 2003-present. About 5,000 Americans dead, over 35,000 wounded (that they’ll admit to). That doesn’t count casualties of our mercenaries…I mean contractors.

Afhganistan/Pakistan: 2001-present. About 1,000 Americans dead, over 4,500 wounded. That doesn’t count casualties of our mercenaries…I mean contractors.

TSA: 2001-present: Domestic airline travel done “the government way.”

Let’s not forget…

**Counterfeiting, bailouts, nationalization and massive inflation: Just another way that Washington says “you belong to me.”

**Regulation of every facet of human life: Try to think of a second of your life that is not regulated in some way by Washington. Quick answer: that second does not exist.

**Two party political system: two sides of the same coin, both Washington cheerleaders and sycophants. Both want to spend unconstitutional money.

**Out of control military, bases in 130 nations.

Here is the point to this litany of tyranny. The government of the United States of America has screwed up the entire planet through their actions over the last 150 years. The events of currency collapse and inflation in our not-too-distant future will reverberate throughout every nation on earth.

States of the United States that choose to secede will certainly be affected by the implosion of the Washington government. But, could any new nation ever match the “Hall of Shame” listed above?

New American nations, formed from the seceding United States, would be little pinpoints of light and liberty. If their only guiding principle was to not make the same mistakes that the US government made over the last 150 years, they would be destined for success.

How could they fail?


Why Switzerland Is Still Free and America Is Not

November 13, 2009

by Ron Holland

The American Time magazine article headline asks, “Will Switzerland Vote to Ban Minarets on Mosques?”

Swiss citizens are becoming concerned about the threat that Islam presents to their traditional culture, economy and religious institutions. As an American, I know how I would vote were I Swiss but the decision will be made by the Swiss electorate as they have this referendum right on all issues.

In Switzerland, the people still rule and have the ultimate right to decide decisions above the government or parliament. Through the right of referendum they can cancel legislation and with the initiative they can pass or create legislative action on issues parliament refuses to act upon.

The bias and closed statist views shown in the article is business as usual for the US media elites out to protect the American political establishment and are so evident in this headline and article. It isn’t the question they asked but rather the question they didn’t dare ask is the “700-lb gorilla in the room.”

Quoting from the article, “Critics say the SVP, the largest party in Switzerland’s coalition government, has taken advantage of the country’s unique brand of direct democracy to push its populist, anti-immigrant agenda on the Swiss electorate. Citizens have the right to propose new laws in Switzerland – the only thing they need to force a nationwide vote on an initiative is a petition of 100,000 signatures.”

The question not asked is why doesn’t the American electorate have oversight over legislation and unpopular government regulations in the United States like in Switzerland? Imagine if 4% of the American voters signed a petition requiring a nationwide vote “yea or nay” on the banking bailouts, going to war in Iraq, auditing the Federal Reserve, nationalized health care or on the trillions in new Washington debt added because of the financial meltdown. The United States would still be a decentralized republic with limited government had we had the political option to hold back Washington and the special interests.

How America would be different if we had Swiss-style political rights to restrain government where the people rule instead of the special interests. Imagine an America where the billions in graft and political influence that control Congress could still buy legislation but not ultimate control if we as a people could overrule their actions.

What if the will of the people still ultimately controlled the political system and direction with true limited government at the federal, state and local level? Imagine the American electorate overriding Congress and demanding a strong dollar backed by real gold reserves, an audit of the Federal Reserve, a rollback of the bailouts, a declaration of war for foreign military intervention, the abolishment of the Patriot Act and a return to banking privacy.

Yes, a Swiss political party (The Swiss Peoples Party) promotes a nationalist agenda to the Swiss voters and they will ultimately decide in referendum yes or no on the issue. This is currently impossible in the United States but Swiss direct democracy and limited confederation government have worked in Switzerland for hundreds of years.

This is far superior to the two-party monopoly in America where the elites controlling both parties can push their self-serving agendas without restraint. Currently, short of the Tenth Amendment movement, state nullification or outright state secession, there is no real effective way to push back against Washington.

Until the American people can find a way to restrain the Federal government, the bureaucracy and the judiciary, the best place for Americans to secure and safeguard their wealth is outside their own country. Switzerland is one of the best jurisdictions to consider because their political system has preserved the rights and freedoms we once had as Americans. Still the ultimate problem for Americans is the necessity to restore our liberties at home because history has shown that wealth without liberty is only a temporary condition at best.

I say, it is time to take a real look at direct democracy in the United States or else Americans who value their property and liberties will have little choice but to first transfer their wealth to safety outside the US as it will be lost in the coming crash of treasury debt and the dollar. Next we must stand and fight the Washington leviathan through the political tools of the 10th amendment and John C. Calhoun’s political ideal of nullification both of which the Feds will probably just ignore. Our final democratic political tool is to exercise the political right of state-by-state secession with all the political and historical baggage this entails.

Trust me, Swiss style direct democracy in the United States would be an easier way to control Washington and the special interests but we only have a few years before the Washington debt and dollar collapse is upon us. Therefore I’ll close with a question. Is anybody here for secession?

Ron Holland works in Zurich and is a co-editor of the Swiss Mountain Vision Newsletter.

Copyright © 2009 by LewRockwell.com.


Lew Rockwell Postcast, with Gerald Celente

November 12, 2009

Depression, Secession, and Revolution

Lew Rockwell interviews Gerald Celente, legendary trend watcher, about coming events.

Listen at: The Lew Rockwell Show


Listen To This Radio Broadcast About Secession

November 11, 2009

Russell Longcore was the guest on American Freedom Radio on November 6, 2009. Lt. Col. Karen Kwiatkowski (U.S.Army Ret.) is the host of the show. Russell was on for the entire hour, and discussed secession with the host.

Here is the link to hear the broadcast:

American Freedom Radio – Russ Longcore Interview


Could (State) Secession Become a Real Austrian Opportunity?

November 10, 2009

by Robert Eschauzier

At the core of Mises’, Hayek’s, Rothbard’s and, more recently, Hoppe’s work lies the recognition that governance of markets and societies is a spontaneous and civilizing force far too complex to be “managed” by any form of monopolistic government. For this reason I will attempt to address the pitfall and opportunity which secession from the Federal leviathan might present from the Austrian perspective, especially as so brilliantly outlined by Hans-Hermann Hoppe is his most recent book Democracy: The God That Failed. Since there has been a flurry of essays about Texas secession recently, I will use that State as an example even though the principles discussed apply to all attempts at secession.

The Pitfall

There is only one problem with formal secession by one of the States, but it is a big one. If it is organized by a group of individuals under the color of “The State of Texas” and presented as a formal declaration by them as coming from “Texas,” then no substantive change will have been achieved. Separating Texas from the USA does little more than ease the burden of (Federal) taxation and regulation, while leaving the principle of institutional monopoly government and its modern version of “Democracy” completely unchallenged. It is only the scale of government which is being addressed, not its criminal and cancerous nature. Smaller than the Federal monster, the newly seceded State’s government will nevertheless continue to metastasize as its parasitic nature demands.

The Opportunity

Secession, from an Austrian perspective, offers an opportunity to completely repudiate the very concept of institutional monopoly government no matter what label (democracy, republic, constitutional etc.) is put on it. To achieve this, requires first of all that a group of incorruptible individuals wrest control of the existing State government apparatus from the current group of “business as usual” politicians. That this may be so impossible to achieve as to render useless anything I write from here on may be true. I will nevertheless take the optimistic view in an attempt to come up with a set of practical steps which such a group might undertake to achieve a truly Austrian and lasting secession which results in complete abolition of Government.

1. Declaration of Secession: (The need for this first step is primarily to deny those who run the Federal Government and opportunity to “come to the rescue” with its military forces if the State were abolished a priori.)A formal Declaration of Independence and Secession would have to be written and ratified, likely by the legislature and signed by the Governor. A date for publication in all Media has to be chosen. Formal presentation to (and therefore recognition of) the Government of the US or the United Nations should not be attempted as a matter of principle. One cannot claim that Mr. Obama has no right to (forcefully) impose his dictates on others while then behaving towards him as if he does. If military intervention ensues anyway, then all bets are off in the short term even as the true tyrannical nature of government becomes exposed for all to see.

2. Dissolution of State Government: Once State secession has been achieved, a proclamation must be issued, disbanding all forms of monopolist government, including the formal disbanding of the existing State legislature and resignations of its members and the Governor. All existing “elected” politicians will be encouraged to seek suitable employment in the market. “Lower” levels of government (county, city etc.) should be encouraged (but must never be forced) to follow suit.

3. State “Services”: A planned conversion of all existing State Government Agencies to non-monopoly services must be initiated. This must be executed in a humane manner so as not to unreasonably punish workers and others (“clients”) who currently depend on these agencies.

4. Currency: Monetary policy is the preferred tool of monopoly governments for political market manipulation. The creation of currencies is a competitive function of the market just like any other economic activity. It must never be allowed to be subject to political fiat.

5. Dispute Resolution: Government courts must be abandoned, to be replaced by competing arbitration services, many of which already operate successfully today.

6. Taxation: With the dissolution of the State Government all forms of State taxation or tariffs become a non-issue.

7. Government Land: Land “owned” by the Texas government must be returned to private ownership. Hoppe elaborates on methodology for this at length, so I will refrain from doing so here. Ownership of Federal lands would initially have to remain unchallenged or at least approached very carefully so as not to give those who run the Federal Government an excuse to initiate military action “to protect its legitimate interests,” in mind. In the mean time, any individual or groups who after secession wish to acquire such lands may negotiate with the bureaucrats and politicians in Washington to their heart’s content.

8. Immigration: In a system where ALL land and infrastructure (except initially, Federal) is privately owned, all individuals, regardless of their origin, are trespassing if they access a property without permission of its owner(s). Except for Federal lands, would-be immigrants would therefore have to seek those owners’ permission and, if allowed access, become that owners’ responsibility. Migration therefore becomes just another self-regulating activity.

9. Social Services: Millions of individuals presently receive Federal or State benefits of some sort. Those who wish to continue receiving Federal hand-outs, would be free to do so and, if necessary, migrate to any region still associated with and subject to the dictates of the Federal government. Those who wish to throw off this yoke of slavery, will no doubt find many neighbors (now freed of tax burdens) and local church and other volunteer organizations willing to help any who are in genuine need of assistance.

10. Law Enforcement: Laws are just political opinions “enforced” by (the threat of) violence. Those currently engaged in the practice of “Law Enforcement” may be encouraged to find employment and retraining with non-monopoly security services or to move to regions where their skills at terrorizing innocent people may still be in demand.

11. Crime Prevention: Protection from criminals and other (statist) invaders will most likely be offered by insurance companies who contract for these services with companies skilled in such matters such as possibly some existing mercenary outfits which seek to enjoy the moral high ground of serving a willing client instead of a terrorist monopoly government. The market will govern spontaneously which insurers will thrive and which will fail.

12. Health Care: Healthcare will be provided by practitioners and organizations on a competitive basis. Private, competitive insurance plans will no doubt proliferate. Similarly, quality assurance/monitoring will be offered by these insurance providers and “accreditation services” through regular quality audit procedures. Private charity, both intra- and extra-family, will take the place of Medicare and similar “services.” The need for such charity will be magnitudes reduced, because both medical services companies and their clients will operate in a market environment free of government taxation and regulation.

13. Financial Services: Caveat emptor! Private rating services together with liability insurers will audit those engaged in issuance and trading of all financial instruments. Any financial service which fails such audits has little to no chance of surviving for more than a few days or weeks.

14. Environment: First and foremost, pollution will be a matter of (encroachment on) private property rights and must be addressed as such by the parties in question. Preservationists will be free to use their own funds to buy any property they wish to protect. They can also use their wealth to try and encourage voluntary conservation activities by third-party property owners.

15. Education: Schooling will be offered by competing entities, funded commercially as well as by various volunteer religious and other special interest groups. Teachers will be welcomed and employed based on their qualifications. Note also that home schooling is very much alive, especially in Texas.

Conclusion

That it would take years to bring a plan such as outlined above to a successful conclusion is obvious. With the newly emerging strength of the secessionist movement, Austrian economists and thinkers may have a real chance at seizing the reigns of civilization from the statist tyrants. Let’s hope we do.

November 7, 2009

Robert Eschauzier is a dual citizen of Canada and The Netherlands. A life-long entrepreneur, he considers himself an arch “autarchist,” meaning that he views society/nature as a self (auto) regulated arrangement, rather than a non (ana-) regulated one. Since discovering LRC and Mises.org about ten years ago, he has been a voracious if informal student of Austrian economics. He currently lives and works in Chicago.

Copyright © 2009 by LewRockwell.com.